THURSDAY 23 February 2017: Kelly Cartwright OAM, Australian Paralympian and World Champion, has been named Ambassador for charity organisation Rare Cancers Australia (RCA) and is encouraging the community to climb Australia’s highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko, to raise awareness and funds to assist rare cancer patients.
Kelly Cartwright, an above the knee amputee, lost her leg to a rare and aggressive form of cancer in her right knee at the tender age of 15 years. Since then, she has enjoyed a stellar sporting career, has appeared on Dancing With the Stars and has been a brand ambassador for Bonds.
Ms Cartwright, is this year adjusting to a brand-new socket, but hopes to make the climb to the summit herself next year. Participants who register for this year’s Mount Kosi Challenge charity event, can climb from Eagles Nest to the summit, a 13km round trek or take the more challenging 21km round trip from the base at Thredbo Alpine Village via Merritts Track to the summit.
“I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones. But Australians living with rare and less common cancers are an ignored group in our country. This needs to change. We need to give every cancer sufferer the best opportunity to survive their disease with the most effective treatment plan and the right to access any cancer drug to help them sustain their lives well into remission. Without Rare Cancers Australia’s support and fundraising initiatives people will continue to lose their lives. I encourage everyone to donate to this worthy cause at www.kosichallenge.com.au ”, said Ms Cartwright.
24,000 Australians die each year due to rare and less common cancers. That is 24,000 too many according to RCA Co-Founders Richard and Kate Vines who initiated the Mount Kosciuszko Challenge in 2012. In its fifth year, RCA hopes the Mount Kosi Challenge event will raise $200,000 which will help RCA continue its vital work to improve the lives of Australians living with Rare and Less Common Cancers (RLC).
There are significantly fewer treatment options and reduced access to potentially life-saving medicines for these patients. Rare cancer makes up 30 per cent of all diagnosis but accounts for 50 per cent of all deaths.
“We are so grateful to have Kelly as an Ambassador for our cause. RLC cancers destroy lives. There is very little financial support for people with RLC cancers with some selling everything they own to access treatment. It’s difficult to get access to cancer treatments and if they are available they are still out of reach for most patients. The current system is failing Australians diagnosed with rare and less common cancers. We appeal to all Australians to support the Mount Kosi Challenge so we can continue to support those in dire need until such time the Government changes the way rare and less common cancers are managed,” said Kate Vines.
Australians around the country are urged to register for the event or donate using the website link www.kosichallenge.com.au
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